As of today, I have created a new entry category that I am calling a "Forum."
In a nutshell, I'm hoping that the Forum will encourage readers to answer some questions I have been thinking about and/or respond to some ideas we have been kicking around at the office.
This is your chance to be heard! Contrary to what we like to believe, editors don't know everything. To publish books that people will read (and want to buy), we need to know what people are interested in and what they're sick of.
While comments on the Mysterious Matters blog are always welcome, I am particularly interested in comments on any question I raise in the forum, and I hope you will feel comfortable about posting your honest responses.
Of course, your comments can be anonymous, but it would be helpful if you could provide a bit of background about yourself--specifically: Are you a reader or a writer? What types of mysteries do you typically like? And if you are a librarian, it would be great to know that (and whether you speak regarding your personal tastes or those of your reading public).
Today's forum question: My colleagues and I were talking about our enjoyment of nontraditional narratives. You know--books with multiple viewpoints, unreliable narrators, structural innovations, nonlinear plots, ambiguous endings, and so forth. Then we got to wondering if we like them simply because they're different...because they offer a welcome diversion from the usual first-person, "I did this, then I did that" story. How do you feel about nontraditional structures? Are they fun, challenging, or both? Do you find that they are more work to read, and do you feel the work is worth the effort? Do you have to be in the right "mood" to pick up one of these books? If you're at a bookstore and flipping through a bunch of books, deciding which one to buy, do these tricks or techniques make you more likely to buy the book, or less likely?
I await your thoughts, O Mysterious Ones.